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"Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes: Past and Present"

Two performances of "Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes: Past and Present" were presented on Saturday, February 7, in the Penn State Berks Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. Each session covered different material, and interested participants were encouraged to attend both sessions if possible. The presentations were sponsored by the New Jersey Circle of Friends, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Sufi Order International.

Content focused on the history and practices of the world-renowned philosopher, mystical poet, and founder of the Whirling Dervishes popularly known as "Rumi." The presentations featured demonstrations of the famous turning movements, along with authentic music and video material.

Hafizullah Chishti has studied the Sufi path for thirty-two years. He is a shaikh (senior teacher and lineage-holder) in the Sufi Order International and an adjunct member of the Sufi Order Curriculum Committee. He chairs the Leaders Training Committee of Jamiat Khas, and has studied the Turn with the Mevlevi Dervishes for over twenty years. Chishti currently co-directs a Sufi Order study circle in New Jersey with his wife Noor Allah.

"What a person takes away from this kind of event depends a great deal on the individual, comments event coordinator Dr. Paul Azim Frye, Instructor of Communication Arts and Sciences. "While this is not a religious event, it exists within a powerful, living, spiritual tradition and the potential exists for an uplifting experience. The goal is to at least get a glimpse of an approach to something higher than our ordinary commercial or material 'isms.' This is a teaching with resonance and juice; it's truly a privilege to witness."

For more information, please contact Dr. Paul Azim Frye at paf11@psu.edu.

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